2 And it came to pass that I beheld my brethren, and they were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them.
8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?
9 And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
(1 Nephi 15:2, 8-9)
In this passage, Nephi teaches us about how to find answers to our questions. As useful as debate might be in the appropriate context, it is completely inappropriate to a situation where you and your peers are equally uninformed and someone else understands the topic far better than you. Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel, did not understand the words of their father. They were unwilling to ask the Lord for understanding, because they did not believe that He would answer them. Perhaps they had prayed in the past and not received the answers they sought. Perhaps they knew that opening that line of communication would require them to humble themselves and be willing to change. Whatever the reason, they were unwilling to pray, and so they remained in confusion. They were like the Nephites in the Book of Helaman who argued amongst themselves whether Nephi was a prophet or a god, and “divided hither and thither and went their ways, leaving Nephi alone, as he was standing in the midst of them” (Helaman 10:1). People who are unwilling to face the truth may surround themselves with the noise of the world as a coping mechanism. Like the Athenians who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21), we may fail to hear and embrace the truth because we are distracted by the opinions of the people around us.